KEIR RADNEDGE in ST PETERSBURG: Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi had only regrets to offer after the South American champions’ 1-0 defeat by Germany in the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in the Krestovsky Island stadium here.
The crucial turning point occurred after 20 minutes when Chile playmaker Marcelo Diaz, dropping deep to create space for himself, was robbed of possession on the edge of his own penalty box by Timo Werner.
Lars Stindl duly rolled the ball into an unguarded net for a goal which not only halted the pace of Chileans’ thrilling early momentum but upset their concentration. Diaz, such an influential figure earlier in both the tournament and the final, virtually vanished from the game.
For all that La Roja huffed and puffed in the second half, they bore the air of a team who feared they could play all day without scoring.
Pizzi said: “We played an amazing match. We made a huge effort and right from the start we really imposed our game plan.
No second thought
“We had the initiative, we had control and we were created chances but, football being the way it is, sometimes accidents happen – so at the end we lost.
“We are sad and disappointed but we are content that we showed here we can compete against the best teams in the world so we need to move forward without changing our determination or our style of play.
“Marcelo Diaz is very sad, like all his team-mates. We ask him to play that way [dropping deep] because we value his quality. He’s our leader [but] with that kind of style things can happen, unfortunately. Now we need to move on and grow in strength from this experience.”
Pizzi, an Argentinian, acknowledged that “their goal changed everything including the way our players felt about the match.”
He added: “The goal also gave our opponents stronger self belief while we lost belief – even though we kept fighting and created more chances. But one of the most difficult things in football is to score goals which is why goalscorers are valued so highly.”
He sought consolation in the “amazing experience” gained at the Confederations Cup, “even for those players who were quite experienced already.”
Pizzi added: “We are achieving a great status in world football. Other teams respect us more and more.
“My idea was for us to put every last drop of energy into this tournament. I was convinced that if we went home with no energy left at least we would be full with glory.
“Unfortunately we go home with no energy and no trophy either.”
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